"I don't know that he's going to all of a sudden become a kickoff guy again," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a recent interview. "I think I do know the odds of that."
Jones said also that, if a kickoff specialist is necessary, he would like to find a young kicker that can be groomed.
Enter Memphis kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
Gostkowski, one of the top kickers in the country last year, will have a private workout with Dallas next week, TheRanchReport.com has learned.
Gostkowski finished his senior season by connecting on 19-of-22 field goals and all 32 PATs, with a long of 53-yards and was 9-of-9 from 40-plus yards. Gostkowski also holds Memphis and Conference USA records in PATs (156), field goals (67) and scoring (357 points).
The former Memphis standout, who was also selected to play in the Senior Bowl earlier this year, is one of two kickers to have private workouts with the Cowboys. Dallas special teams coach Bruce DeHaven attended a private session with Virginia's Conner Hughes.
Gostkowski is widely viewed as one of the top three kickers available in the 2006 NFL Draft. He is expected to be a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent.
Gostkowski at the Senior Bowl.
2004: Named to the 2004 All-Conference USA first team as a kicker...Helped the Tigers to a 20-13 win over Ole Miss in the season opener by kicking two PATs and connecting on both of his field goal attempts...Kicked field goals of 39 and 45 yards in helping Memphis maintain its lead in the game...Made one of two field goal attempts in the victory over Chattanooga...Connected from 26 yards out but suffered his first miss of the season on a 39-yard attempt against the Mocs...Remained perfect on his PAT work booting seven on the night...Had another outstanding performance in the Tigers' win over Arkansas St., making four-of-four field goal attempts and all five PATs in the Tigers' 47-35 victory...His 17 points scored against Arkansas State rank as the second highest single-game total by a kicker in Memphis football history...Had field goals of 19, 41, 24 and 30 yards against ASU...Was named the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week following the ASU meeting...Made two of three field goal attempts and four PATs in the UAB game...Hit on field goals of 47 and 19 yards against the Blazers, and his 47-yard effort was the third longest of his career...Booted two field goals of 47 and 30 yards in the win over Houston, and added five PATs...Made seven PATs in the Memphis victory over Tulane...Booted a 49-yard field goal against Cincinnati, which was his second-longest career field goal...Had an outstanding game against Louisville on national television when he connected on three-of-three field goal attempts and made four-of-four PATs...Totaled 13 points versus the Cardinals, which ranks in a tie for the sixth highest in school history....Was named the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season following the UL game...Connected on one-of-three field goal attempts against USM...Missed his only PAT in 89 tries as the last one of the USM game was backed up because of a penalty on an attempted two-point conversion...Took control of the East Carolina game and provided the Tigers with the winning margin by booting a 35-yard field goal with just six seconds left in the contest...Also connected on five-of-five PAT attempts in the ECU win.
2003: Was the Tigers' starting kicker for the second-consecutive season, and handled all of the field goal and PAT duties for the Tigers...Had two field goals in the season-opening win over Tennessee Tech...Booted field goals of 39 and 23 yards against the Golden Eagles...Had a career-high three field goals in the Tiger victory over Ole Miss and was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week...Had field goals of 21, 42 and 17 yards against the Rebels...His 42-yard effort gave Memphis a fourth quarter lead and his 17-yard effort sealed the victory...Had two field goals against Southern Miss on kicks of 21 and 33 yards...Made two-of-three field goal attempts against Mississippi State... Kicked one field goal from 33 yards and connected on six-of-six PATs in the win over the Houston Cougars.
2002: Came to the Tigers as a walk-on kicker in fall camp and by the season opener, had earned a scholarship and was the team's starting kicker...Lettered while appearing in all 12 games of the 2002 season...Made nine-of-14 field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder in the season opener against Murray State...Also made 32-of-37 PATs in 2002...Opened his collegiate career making five-of-six PATs and his longest field goal of the season at 50 yards...Made five-of-five PATs in the win over Tulane and hit on a 48-yard field goal attempt...Had his only multiple field goal game in the season finale against TCU...Kicked off for the Tigers 58 times during the season and had 12 of his kickoffs declared as touchbacks...Had an average kickoff depth of the five yard line (5.10)...Was named to the 2002 Conference USA All-Freshman Team...Also named to The Sporting News All-Freshman Team...Prep: Lettered for four years in football and soccer and three years in baseball at Madison Central High...Earned all-state honors in all of the three sports...Complied an 8-2 record with a 1.40 ERA during his senior season...Had a batting average of .395 with three home runs and 25 RBI...Completed his high school baseball career with a 16-2 record and a 1.00 ERA...Led Madison Central to the 2002 Mississippi state championship...Holds the MCHS record for the longest field goal at 55 yards.
Personal: Stephen Carroll Gostkowski is the son of Larry and Cindy Gostkowski...Born January 28, 1984 in Baton Rouge, La...Majoring in exercise and sport science, and expects to graduate in May 2006...Also a member of the Tiger Baseball team.